STC Mike Priefer (10.29.20)

Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer:

On his confidence that WR Donovan Peoples-Jones will be able to handle a bigger role on offense and the role as a returner: 

“He is a smart young man. We have been talking about his intelligence from the get go, how he can learn all three positions on offense and how he understands and makes good decisions as a punt and kickoff returner. I do not see any problems with him handling an extra workload on offense and being the returner.”

On if he is excited for Peoples-Jones to get more opportunities: 

“I was excited when he made that play on Sunday, I will tell you that. That was a huge play for us, and that does not surprise me. I think (Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski calls him ‘Mr. Reliable.’ I think that is what I heard he called him, and I think that is a great name for him. That is what he is. He is a guy that is going to be in the right spot at the right time, and he understands what to do and how to do it. It was obviously a big play for us last week.”

On what he was thinking when the game-winning TD pass to Peoples-Jones was in the air: 

“Touchdown.”

 

On the Raiders’ fake punt last week: 

“They ran that same punt last year against Chicago. They ran kind of a misdirection punt-fake against Detroit last week. We are going to obviously be very well prepared for that. It would be based on the down a distance and the call that I throw in, and we have to be more conservative than usual because they are a fake team. They are aggressive with that so we will be ready.”

On CB Denzel Ward’s athleticism and if Ward’s skillset and plays ever surprise him: 

“He and (DE) Myles Garrett are two of the athletes on our team that – I do not say surprise me all the time, but it is amazing what they can do as athletes, how they can turn their body and how they have great explosiveness. It is amazing. We have a lot of great athletes on our football team, but those are the two of the guys that jump out to me constantly.”

 

On his evaluation of the last kickoff against the Bengals and the decision to not kick it out of the end zone: 

“It actually worked out almost perfectly. We did not want to kick a touchback, and certainly, we did not want to kick it out of bounds. We wanted them to use as much clock as they possibly could. In a perfect world, I probably would have liked that tackle on the other side of the 40, but it was at the 42. I think we covered it well, not great, but the ball was at the 42-yard line, and they had four seconds. They used seven seconds. To me, it worked out almost perfectly. It was a great kick. We knew No. 25 (Bengals HB Giovani Bernard) was going to be moving to the center of the field, thinking it was going to be a squib kick. He did a nice job of getting back to the ball. Our guys probably covered a little bit more tentative than I wanted them to, but we did a good job of getting them down. Like I said, we used seven seconds of the clock and there were four seconds left, and all they had left was the Hail Mary.”

On K Cody Parkey missing an extra point after a perfect start to the season:

“He made 30 kicks in a row for us, and hopefully, he can start a new streak this week. He has been outstanding for us. He, (LS) Charley (Hughlett) and (P) Jamie (Gillan) work extremely well together. He just missed it. I do not know if there is anything we needed to correct. It is not a big correction. It is probably a minor correction. He just has to go out and make those kicks, and he knows that.”

On if it is a good assessment that kickoff coverage was better against the Bengals Sunday compared to the Week 2 matchup:

“That was a great assessment. We shut down the No. 1 returner in the league, in my opinion. (Bengals S Brandon Wilson) is outstanding. We covered him three times, and three times we shut him down so I was real proud the way our guys covered. Cody kicked the ball well and guys were into it all week. In fact, we were back to where we were last year in terms of the attitude of they did not want us to kick a touchback. We had the wind behind our back and we were being more conservative in kicking out of the end zone and we will kick a touchback. They were actually made at me that we called those type of kicks because they wanted to cover every single one of them. Hopefully, we have our confidence back and our swagger back a little bit. We still have to pick and choose our spots to when we challenge teams. I like what I saw from our guys on Sunday.”

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